By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Tha National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) its 13th anniversary by renewing its commitment to stand with the people amid the worsening climate of impunity in the country.
On Sept. 16, the NUPL held banners outside their office in Quezon City calling for a stop to the attacks against members of the legal profession. They also named their new conference room after the slain NUPL-Negros Island Secretary General, Benjamin Ramos.
“Injustice cannot be the new normal. Especially in these uncertain times where state-sponsored impunity resulted in intensified human rights violations,” NUPL Secretary General Ephraim B. Cortez said in a statement.
NUPL members have also been subjected to attacks perpetrated by state forces.
The group called on other members of the legal profession and community “not to remain in the sidelines and to stand with the people.”
“We cannot claim to have knowledge of the law and yet, keep our eyes wide shut to the atrocities we see and encounter everyday: poverty, injustice, abuse and violence. We must always remember, that the nobility of every profession comes, not with the title that is prefixed in our names, but in how we use it to serve those who have less, those who have nothing, those who have to suffer every ounce of injustice and indignity,” Cortez said.
Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay commended the commitment of the NUPL to the people.
“Through sleepless nights and days, panic moments, quick reaction and fact finding missions, court trials, trial preparations, karukhaan 101 (poverty) when travelling and during engagements at the United Nations, photocopying and notarising pleadings, in very rare occasions of food sharing, in numerous webinars and online events, in search missions for arrested and disappeared persons, releases of political prisoners, rallies in the streets, NUPL lawyers were with us,” Palabay said.
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Palabay said they are proud to stand with the NUPL.
Karapatan is just one of the many clients of the NUPL. Some families of the victims of the government’s so-called war on drugs and urban poor families whose houses were demolished are also their clients.
The NUPL also assisted the alternative media groups in filing civil complaints against the IT companies where cyberattacks were traced.